Author Topic: Apple's been there already  (Read 1619 times)

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Offline pitagoras

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Apple's been there already
« on: April 10, 2018, 12:40:23 am »
I've just listened the last show.
About the speculation about Apple changing processor architecture, let's remember that:
First, they adapted OSX from NeXT OS (which was compiled for 680x0) to PowerPC processors.
Later, in practically no time, around 2005/6, they dropped PowerPC and adopted Intel. That has a huge architecture shift, and they even *emulated* PowerPC to make a seamless transition from old applications. This implied also switching from big to little endian, by the way. The transition was so seamless that, for some time, same OSX version would boot on Intel or PowerPC.
And lately they dropped objective-c in favor of a modern functional-object language of they own (Swift).
So it's very clear they can do whatever they want with the new processor, and they will succeed. If they announced, they are already well prepared.
 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: Apple's been there already
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2018, 01:09:00 am »
It was rumored for years before the Intel shift that Apple had a secret "skunk-works" operation off-campus in a seedy office block where a "black-ops" team maintained the OS and other key software on x86 instruction-set/architecture in anticipation of PowerPC running out of steam.
 

Offline ataradov

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Re: Apple's been there already
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2018, 03:06:53 am »
So far they have been shifting up in performance. But ARM processors on the market are at best comparable, and mostly inferior. So emulation is out of the question. Just look at how miserable Microsoft emulation solution is.
Alex
 
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Offline bd139

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Re: Apple's been there already
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2018, 03:44:28 am »
Don’t think emulation is needed. There will just be two binaries in the same executable for a bit. They’ve been rationalising the MacOS API carefully over the last decade to make this easier.
 

Offline pitagoras

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Re: Apple's been there already
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2018, 03:51:08 am »
Emulation has been done in the past to retain compatibility with binaries, but I agree they won't need to do it again, as software dev houses are already aware that they will need to recompile and prepare the terrain.
I was just pointing out that they have plenty of resources to shift cpu architecture in rather radical ways.
 

Offline ataradov

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Re: Apple's been there already
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2018, 03:51:57 am »
This will force everyone to rebuild stuff for new architecture. While I'm sure Adobe was happy to drop PowerPC and have everything on X86, I'm not sure they will be happy to do the port for ARM. Eventually they will not have a choice, but this move can actually harm Apple. That is provided they still care about computers at all.
Alex
 

Offline bd139

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Re: Apple's been there already
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2018, 04:40:22 am »
Adobe are just sharecroppers like the rest of us sitting on proprietary platforms. Suck up the terms or walk on.
 

Offline kulla

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Re: Apple's been there already
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2018, 07:55:29 am »
FYI, they haven't dropped Objective C, it's still developed, all libs are supporting it, etc. it's just that Swift get more and more focus, but it's not near mature as Objective C is.
 

Offline glarsson

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Re: Apple's been there already
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2018, 08:17:15 am »
This will force everyone to rebuild stuff for new architecture. While I'm sure Adobe was happy to drop PowerPC and have everything on X86, I'm not sure they will be happy to do the port for ARM. Eventually they will not have a choice, but this move can actually harm Apple.
The last couple of years have seen several high quality programs challenging the Adobe suite. They have become quite popular, partially due to Adobe switching to a subscription model. IF Apple goes ARM and IF Adobe stays then a number of developers will be quite happy to fill the space.
 

Offline EPLan

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Re: Apple's been there already
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2018, 04:54:54 am »
So it's very clear they can do whatever they want with the new processor, and they will succeed. If they announced, they are already well prepared.

I agree but current benchmarks of ARM apps running on something like a Snapdragon 835 give non-emulated results equivalent to a Celeron - so that might lead to low-end laptop use, but not desktop. There are weird and wonderful Cavium ARM desktops that have more grunt - but they still don't benchmark that well.
 

Offline glarsson

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Re: Apple's been there already
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2018, 05:04:00 am »
I agree but current benchmarks of ARM apps running on something like a Snapdragon 835 give non-emulated results equivalent to a Celeron - so that might lead to low-end laptop use, but not desktop.
But Apple is never going to use a processor intended for mobile phones, especially not one from Qualcomm, in a laptop or desktop computer.
We have no idea if Apple is busy designing its own desktop class ARM processor without the power consumption constraints of a mobile processor.
 

Offline jazz

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Re: Apple's been there already
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2018, 12:34:01 pm »
IF Apple changes their CPU architecture, I think it's safe to assume that they would want to do it on all platforms running OS X at the same time.
Their laptops get updated every year anyway, but the Mac Pro only gets an update every couple of years. The next update for the Mac Pro is scheduled for 2019.
So, IF they wanted to change architectures, there is a time window for it coming up. But if the Mac Pro gets another Intel CPU, Apple will probably stick with Intel for now.
 


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